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it before. one was the american cardinal and joseph ratzinger you may have heard of who became benedict xvi. this time you have 50 conclave veterans in the sistine chapel, and i think therefore will be more inclined to think they ought to have say in what's happening. >> and i believe some 67 who have been elevated to cardinal by benedict xvi. >> that's right. all 115 were appointed by john paul or benedict. >> so as catholics around the world look to the possible direction the church might take, and in america we know there's a big wing of the roman catholics who is looking for a more progressive, more modern catholic church, that addresses the real issues of living in today's 21st century world, other parts of the word are much more traditional, much more conservative model. how do you see it going forward and to you think there will be an american pope for the first time? >> an american pope is a long shot, but for the first time it's thinkable. in the old idea you couldn't have a super power pope because america is too powerful and if you put that guy in, half the world will think vatic
to "hardball." ♪ >>> we're back. 85-year-old pope benedict the former joseph ratzinger made history today when he left the vatican in a helicopter from rome to the papal summer home cassell began dal foe for the first phase of his retirement. in his final tweet as pot he said, quote, that you for your love and support. may you always experience the joy that comes from putting christ at the center of your lives. his departure ushers in a new era for the church and the more than 1 billion catholics worldwide and soon more than 100 cardinals will meet in conclave to select a new pope and decide the future of the faith. george is our nbc news vatican analyst and tom roberts is managing editor of the national catholic reporter and author of "the emerging catholic church." george, you know, in american presidential politics, we always try to correct for the latest president. you know, we had truman who had too much of a kansas city problem so we brought in mr. clean eisenhower. we had nixon and ford so we brought in a guy who had never been involved in politics or been to washington, cater. and we b
-runner in the same way that cardinal joseph ratzinger was the last time around. but there are perhaps two or three figures one could say are the next tier down. cardinal angelo shokoal, cardin mark willet, who runs the power for bishops, a deeply spiritual figure and perhaps leonardo sandri, a career vatican official a man that brings the first world and the third world together. we shall see if one of those guys breaks through. >> reporter: indeed and, of course, there may even be a cardinal from the third world, the developing world, who might be elevated. we're going to interview the american cardinal timothy dolan in a few hours from now. we'll have that live on cnn and he's used an awful lot of colorful language to insist he's not the next pope. but his name is constantly cropping up as well. soledad? >> we're already taking bets on who the next successor will be, i'm not surprised about that, guys, thank you. pope benedict xvi will be staying at the picturesque castel gandolfo, southeast of rome. it's a small castle thtle and b anderson is there for us now. >> reporter: hi, soledad, the fina
that it was joseph ratzinger, the new pope, i was on the first plane to bavaria to do the story about this new man's life, this new pope's life. anyway, yes, it was emotional. we heard him speaking english, which was interesting because we're used to hearing him speak primarily in italian. it was clear from today's general audience, it was a different speech. normally it's a catechism. this was really a reflection on his decision and his thanks to the people who supported him and to the faithful who accepted his decision to step down from his post. very unusual moment and historic moment in that people generally don't get chance to say farewell to a pope. a pope passes on and then another one is elected. so this was a very special moment and he clearly was emotional and spoke about how his time as pope had been full of joy, but also full of difficult moments and i think we can read into that in many ways. but he said most importantly that they never felt alone, that he felt he was asked to do this job. he didn't seek it out. and he was guided the entire time. now the clock is ticking. this was his
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